US Government Patents Medical Pot

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director July 3, 2008

    The extent of the federal government’s hypocrisy on the issue of medicinal cannabis truly knows no bounds. Don’t believe me? Just click here.

    (Thanks to Huffington Post blogger Brinna for the link.)

    US Patent 6630507 – Cannabinoids as antioxidants and neuroprotectants

    Application: filed on 2/02/2001

    US Patent Issued on October 7, 2003

    Assignee: The United States of America, as represented by the Department of Health and Human Services  

    And there you have it. The same federal government that steadfastly denies pot has any medicinal value also holds the medical patents on the plant’s various therapeutic cannabinoids. And they aren’t the only ones who do.

    NORML podcaster Russ Belville and I will be discussing this issue in depth — as well as the related issue of whether or not Big Pharma is behind the prohibition of pot — on the Daily Audio Stash next week.

    Stay tuned.

    61 responses to “US Government Patents Medical Pot”

    1. […] not really sure what to make of this. Digg it |  reddit |  del.icio.us |  […]

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    3. David says:

      I did a run on patents with cannabinoids and found there to be over a 1000 patents currently registered…. wow, I didn’t know marijuana had this many potential medical purposes

    4. lenny says:

      I just noticed on wikipedia as well. I’m surprised it was awarded in 2003, but NORML is just now reporting it.

      Since one part of the government applied for a patent on medical pot, a health institution, and another part of the government granted that patent, I think we can all assume then the federal government recognizes pot as a medicine. Therefore, what is the next step in getting the government to repeal the marijuana law or getting the government to see pot as a medicine like any other? Maybe I’m being naive here.

      Sounds like a law suit just waiting to happen. As NORML is a lobbying group, what is the group’s plan on handling this with the federal government?

    5. johnm214 says:

      I don’t think this analysis is accurate. THe patent doesn’t make evident that the canabinoids patented include those the plant produces. Is there some evidence not included in this post that this is the case? I didn’t go through every claim, but nothing jumped out at me

      You should also clarify that they own patents on SOME of the canabinoids.

      And I don’t see evidence, though maybe I missed it, that the current prevailing use, pain and appetite stimulation, are covered by these claims.

      SO I think this article is either misleading or not supported with any evidence.

    6. James Page says:

      It’s really time to over throw our government. Round them all up and shoot them point blank in the face.

    7. Brian says:

      Big Pharma using legislation to drive out competition?


    8. keebler says:

      This is isn’t an admission that medical marijuana works: It’s yet another weapon in the War on Drugs, yet another way to prosecute those who use marijuana as a medicine. If they can’t hit you for possession or distribution, now they can hit you for patent infringement. A patent lawsuit is usually incredibly expensive and tedious to defend against, and who has more lawyers, guns and money, you or the Government of the United States?

    9. Shirlean says:

      I hope that someon initiates a lawsuit immediately. I just wish it could be me. This type of evidence of their acceptance of the medicinal value of cannibinoids should be used against them immediately. I’ve always felt that they were waiting until they could figure out how to extract every single dime from marketing marijuana before they would decriminalize or legalize something any individual can get by dropping a seed in the ground and adding water and sunlight!

    10. Keebler’s hit the nail on the head. I’m guessing the feds foresee losing the legal battle on medical marijuana, so they’re shopping for another enforcement avenue.